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Child Abuse Negl. 2014 Oct;38(10):1599-606. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.05.007. Epub 2014 Jun 2.

Sibling and peer victimization in childhood and adolescence.

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  • 1Department of Family Studies, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA.
  • 2Department of Sociology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA.


This study examined how victimizations by either a sibling or peer are linked to each other and to mental health in childhood and adolescence. The data were from the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence which includes a sample of children aged 3-9 (N=1,536) and adolescents aged 10-17 (N=1,523) gathered through telephone interviews. An adult caregiver (usually a parent) provided the information for children while self-reports were employed for adolescents. Fifteen percent of each age group reported victimization by both a sibling and peer. Victimization by a sibling alone was more common in childhood than adolescence. Victimization by a sibling was predictive of peer victimization. Children and adolescents victimized by both a sibling and peer reported the greatest mental distress. This work establishes that for some children and adolescents, victimization at the hands of other juveniles happens both at home and school. Programs should consider the role of siblings and target parents and siblings to encourage the development and maintenance of constructive sibling interactions.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Adolescents; Aggression; Children; Siblings; Victimization

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